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March 25, 2013Kansas head coach Charlie Weis and Kansas play by play man Bob Davis conducted a spring football edition of Hawk Talk on Monday night. Here are some highlights from the radio show.
Weis on his leg injury
I am all right. During spring break I went to get my wife in South Bend to go down to Florida and I took a pretty bad fall so I put a brace on it so I wasn't limping for the week. It's old news by now. It's no big deal. Nobody really cares about my health.
Weis on the rest of his spring break
It was pretty good as we had a lot of different things going on in the Weis family. I wanted to give Maura some warm weather because it has been a brutal winter for everyone so I wanted to get them some sun. I got to spend some time with my daughter so got to refuel the tank and get ready for this three week stretch run of spring ball and get ready to go. Just happy to get everyone back last night and go over academics with everyone which we did. This morning we got to run them to make sure their spring break wasn't too enjoyable.
Weis on having spring break in the middle of spring practice
It's new to me doing it this way. I usually do it after spring break but I really like how this has played out because what it did was it gave us time after five practices to evaluate where we were. You could see how much more you could install or what you have to pull back. You look at how the depth chart is changing and who you are moving Even though it is very fluid it gave us plenty of time to take a step back and not be go go go all the time.
Weis on his son Charlie Weis Jr's experience during spring break
When I was at the coaches convention I brought him with me so he could get experience listening to lectures and one of the guys he listened to was Mark Richt of Georgia and he talked about faith and football. Charlie's a very devout Christian and passionate about football and he was really engaged in that talk.
I saw Mark the next day and told him about it and the next day he called Charlie and asked him if he wanted to take his spring break and spend some time with them and watch how they do things. He was like a fly on the wall down at Georgia during the last week. The only embarrassing thing for him was during practice for that first hour Coach Richt was just talking to him and everyone was wondering who the hell is that guy he is talking to.
Weis on what his son learned at Georgia
He brought notebooks back. They asked him what we were doing and he saw what they are doing. You don't bring everything but there are a handful of things that you walk away and say that fits what we are doing. It's a valuable asset and a valuable tool.
Weis on the quarterbacks so far this spring
First of all it is all Jake and Michael. They are getting all the reps. I still have Blake there but he knows I am trying to get these both ready to play in a game. Let's start first with Michael and then I will go to Jake. Michael did some things well last year. Overall our passing game was very inefficient so there are a lot of things we are working on with him so if he is the guy we will put him in a better position to be more productive. With Jake, he has been driving me nuts for quite some time because he hasn't been able to play. Now that he is able to play, and all the things people want to ask about Jake it's how quickly after a year of a system being implemented can a new guy come in and take over. The jury is still out on how much better we are going to be but I am counting on it being significantly. I think that he is a step in the right direction.
Weis on the benefit of Heaps sitting out a year
It will definitely be a benefit. For a year he wasn't throwing into a brand new system with new terminology and all new players. He has two years of eligibility no matter when he played so now he sits for a year and he could potentially be the guy for two years.
Weis on the competition between the quarterbacks
It's definitely competitive but Jake has a big advantage in experience by starting for a couple of years and the fact that I am changing a whole bunch of things in the passing game to be more productive. That's why we are repping just two guys because we are trying to give those guys every rep we can to improve as much as we can in a short amount of time.
Weis on the KU basketball teams
Well first lets talk about the women because everybody wants to talk about the men. That was a heck of a first round upset playing in Boulder against Colorado and I think winning by 15 and being down early was a great start. I think tonight's game is going to be interesting and Katie is going to be impressed by me but I think these two point guards are going to determine who wins here tonight.
As far as the men goes I have decided I am not going to watch the first half of games anymore. I am not going to get agitated and aggravated like every other fan. I am going to wait until after halftime. I don't care who yells in the locker room at halftime, whether it's Self or the players I don't care. I will start watching the games in the second half. Obviously that is when the games start getting pro Kansas.
Weis on limiting the touches Tony Pierson gets in a game because of his size
It depends on where the touches are. Not if they are at receiver. If you are lining up and just pounding people then you don't want to give him the ball 20 times a game. The more times he touches it in space the more chance you have of scoring touchdowns.
Weis on the rest of the running backs
I think James just wants to come in and be ready to go and be a leader from the start of the season. Last year he had to sit the first three games and he was very frustrated and he felt like he let the team down. This year he is working on becoming a more complete player and he wants to get off to a fast start.
I am really high on both Taylor Cox and Brandon Bourbon to tell you the truth. If I didn't feel good about Taylor Cox and Brandon Bourbon I wouldn't be doing what I am doing with Tony.
Weis on the junior college guys already getting on the depth chart
We were 1-11 right? You can't wait around when you are 1-11. If you got guys who you think are better then you better put them in there or else you are going to be 1-11 again and looking for the next coach. I want to put the best guys in there and lets get better.
Weis on the junior college players who will arrive during the summer
We have as many as a half dozen guys who could not only be in the two deep but guys who could be starters who could replace some of these starters. We have six guys coming in on defense who I believe everyone of them has a chance to be a starter. If you think about it even with the influx of what you are seeing in the spring you could see another shakeup in August.
Weis on buck linebacker Chris Martin
He has got some serious competition from Ben Goodman but Chris Martin is a pass rusher. That's one of the things that any Kansas fan knows is we have been lacking that dynamic pass rusher. He has that type of ability to be that type of pass rusher. He is a nudge ahead of Goodman because Goodman is one of those players who is on the rise and really pushing Martin.
Weis on the tight end position
It's interesting I read Blasko say that competition was wide open but right now that competition isn't so wide open. Jimmay is so far ahead of everyone it isn't even close. Where there's competition is between Jordan Smith and Charles Brooks. Everyone talks about Charles Brooks but Jordan has gained about 30 pounds from when he came here as a skinny rug rat from Texas. He is 245 pounds and he looks like a man now. Chuck better watch out or else he will have a redshirt freshman go right on by him. That is a good battle but with Jimmay he knows our system and is in great shape. He is running better than he did all of last year. He is one of those guys that with the changing of the guard when you look for leaders, he was one of those guys in the offseason that we would count on being one of those leaders.
Weis on Mundine as a leader
I think what happens is they are somewhat a little intimidated to take that role of leadership while other guys are there. He was willing to take the backseat to Ragone, but now that Ragone is not there I think he's able and willing to take over that role as a one of the positive leaders on our team.
Weis on KU's Pro Day
First of all it was very well run and well attended. I think that out of all the guys no one hurt themselves and if anybody helped themselves it was probably Bradley because he ran a 40 that was probably 2/10ths faster than what he ran at the combine. 2/10's for a 40 when you play the safety position is an awfully big difference time wise.
Weis on Tanner Hawkinson's pro potential
He'll get drafted. I am not entirely sure where he will get drafted. Some people have him rated higher than others. I think that there are players I have coaches that he is very similar to and I think when the scouts go back and watch the tape - and I won't say who the players are - but it makes the scouts wonder if they are right or I am right.
Weis on Dayne Crist's pro potential
You have to use a few favors to get some players in all star games. In Dayne's case he obviously had a disappointing year. He was disappointed. I was disappointed. We were all disappointed, but at the end of the day he will be in somebody's camp with an opportunity to make a team. After how things have gone in his career, that's not how he would have it started off with but you still have an opportunity. Not everyone gets that chance so he will at least get that chance.
Weis on several new college football rule changes
All the rules now deal with safety and usually head injuries. That's really what they are trying to do. Nearly everything you talk about is related to head injuries and concussions. When you hear rules for the most part is to get players not to lead with their head whether they are running the ball or tackling somebody there is a big awareness towards trying to minimize concussions.
Weis on the junior college players who have already arrived
There are a bunch of guys who are here who will be playing when we start up in September. There is more coming. There are receivers that will be playing and also defensive linemen, defensive backs, and linebackers who will be playing. We got more on the horizon. I have been impressed with the guys who have gotten here. Transitioning from juco to Kansas isn't the easiest now but I think most of them have gotten through the initial part of the transition okay. It isn't just football but it's also academics and social you are trying to get settled.
Weis on linebacker Ben Heeney
He has done a nice job. He is a guy who has gotten pushed by Darius Willis. He kind of reinvented himself. Darius was a guy who had played a bunch then last year had fallen way down on the depth chart and went to show team. He was a pass rusher so we moved him to defensive end. Now with what we are doing on defense you need some bigger bodies at inside linebacker so Ben has been pushed a little bit and he has somebody trying to take that spot away from him.
Weis on adding Cassius Sendish and Dexter McDonald
They are both big and physical corners. In this league when you have so many big and physical wide receivers you can't play with a bunch of midget corners all the time. You need some guys with size. Between those two guys and JaCorey Shepherd has gotten significantly better and you still have Kevin Short on the horizon and he is bigger than all those guys. This year we were trying to find ourselves some corners with some size.
Weis on the kicking game
I am okay with field goals right now. There is a chance that one guy who isn't here might be the field goal kicker. I am pleased with the progress there. Kicking off and punting has been a significant upgrade. It will be nice to kickoff and watch touchbacks like other teams. I think that we have spent a lot of time on not just upgrading the special teams but also the specialists. We have a chance to improve in every facet on special teams.
Weis on not having a specific special teams coach
What happens is when you have one guy who is dedicated to special teams is he is still helping coach a position. That was Clint last year. You get spread too thin. We really need Clint to help on defense. Clint's still involved in special teams but you can't do both those jobs. We have spread those jobs around and it is very well organized. People ask how we can do it without a special teams coach, but we have a bunch of them. It makes everyone much more accountable. That should pay a lot more dividends.
Weis on Bowen coaching linebackers
He is in his comfort zone now. Not that he wasn't a good secondary coach but the linebackers are the position that really ties the whole defense together. The defensive backs don't tie it all together but the linebackers do. They tie the big guys with the little guys. Clint has transitioned into that position effortlessly.
Weis on linebacker Courtney Arnick
He was one of the best players on the field everyday during practice last year. He was on the show team and there were two guys in practice who were a pain in the butt. Jake Heaps was a pain on the other end and Courtney Arnick was one of those guys every single day. Whether it was playing in space or rushing the passer he was a solid player. It might be that there is some guys coming in who he might be behind but he won't be behind by much because he is going to end up playing.
Weis on hearing from quarterback Jake Heaps after the West Virginia game
I am not feeling so hot after getting blasted by West Virginia and I get on the bus and turn on my phone and I have about 95 texts and 94 are from him. It was just one message after another and I almost texted him back and told him to shut the hell up. The bottom line was he knew he had waited his time and his time is now over and he knew that the change had to start the next day. When that West Virginia game was over on Saturday, on Sunday things had to start changing.